TD’s and government ministers continue to enjoy their insanely long Christmas break today as they enter week 3 of their 4 and a half week festive holidays. The traditional 12 days of Christmas might apply to most of us but not the men and women of Dáil Eireann who are still at home enjoying their 32 days of Christmas.
You’d be forgiven for thinking our politicians are taking this piss and that’s because they clearly are but TD for Roscommon Barney Fitzmaurice told us criticism of the Dáil’s lengthy break is unfair and claimed that just because they’re not at Leinster House doesn’t mean they’re not working.
“I have an office in my hometown where people can come and see me to discuss any problems they might have. Okay so I can’t remember the last time I was in it and God knows where the key is but the office is there and it has a big poster of my face in the window so it’s not fair to say we’re still on holidays. Plus I did a phone interview on the radio a few days ago that lasted nearly ten minutes. I’m flat out so I am.”
Mr. Fitzmaurice’s party colleague Dan Owens agreed and said he can’t wait to get back to Dáil Eireann to represent his constituents again.
“Well when I say get back to Dáil Eireann I usually sign in and then head straight to Dublin Airport and hit the Canaries for a week. I love a bit of sun after the miserable Irish Christmas weather.
“When I fly back I just sign the Dáil register again and drive down home. You can claim enough in expenses for travel and overnight stays in Dublin to pay for the entire holiday. Some craic lads in fairness. The people down here keep voting for me as long I attend a few funerals now and again. It’s a great little country so it is.”
The first order of the day when the Dáil reconvenes on January 19th is a proposal to give TD’s a pay rise and longer holidays. It’s expected to pass.